Mormons and Modesty

Mormons love them some modesty… but does their stance come from a place of respect or misogyny?  Recently, an Orem woman decided to be offended at a series of t-shirts at a Pac-Sun store. They were screen printed with various black & white photos of women. The women were in bathing suits and other sexy outfits. She protested, asking the store manager to remove them from display so her son and other people wouldn’t be able to enjoy looking at images of healthy, sexually mature women be offended by them.  She spent $600 of her own money to buy out the stock of shirts. Here’s the story:

There is a certain perfection in this.  What you resist, persists.

Those shirts just became hot sellers.

Recently, a leader from the LDS church, Ted R Callister, delivered a speech at BYU Idaho in which he essentially laid the responsibility squarely upon women for men’s tendency to think about sex when they see healthy, beautiful women.  For the uninitiated, Mormons like to use certain euphemisms:

“Morality” this refers to whether or not you are obeying the Church’s rules about sex, the “Law Of Chastity” (which is  that you can only have sex withing marriage. That’s it. No exceptions.)  For example, “John has been having trouble with morality” means “John has been fucking his secretary behind his wife’s back”  and “Bill has been having immoral thoughts.” means “Bill has been thinking about sex.”

Have you ever noticed that the military doesn’t call things what they really are?

  • bombs –> “ordnance”
  • weapons –> “assets”
  • torture –> “Extraordinary rendition”
  • dropping bombs from planes –> “air campaign”
  • people –> “targets”
  • innocent people killed –> “collateral damage”

Euphemisms are used to detach people from the relationship between words and the actions the represent. It is information warfare, it is brainwashing, it is deception. It’s a way to get people to do things they normally wouldn’t agree to do.   I digress.  Let’s keep talking about “morality”.  Listen to the talk yourself, pay attention to these winning phrases:

“Our dress not only affects our thoughts and actions, but the thoughts and actions of others.”

“the dress of women has a powerful impact on the minds and passions of men, if it’s too low,  too high,  too tight it might prompt improper thoughts in the mind of a young man striving to be pure.”

“Women particularly can leave a lot to the imagination and in the process contribute to their own self-respect and to the moral purity of men. In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for.”

You can read / listen to the talk in it’s entirety here:

Mormon-Modesty-MemeKristin B. Hodson, MSW, LCSW, Founder/Executive Director of The Healing Group, called in to comment on the situation. Hodson is an active member of the LDS church. Her status, along with her profession of being a sex & relationship therapist, make for a fascinating perspective.  Check out the podcast to hear what she had to say.  Hodson’s work can be found at:

Today’s Show is sponsored by Poplar Street Pub! GO get a burger there. Seriously.  242 South 200 West SLC, UT.



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